In a world where social media gives brands the opportunity to share their own message, we’ve seen many companies shift to a publisher mindset. With access to social media platforms with their precise targeting tools, brands can reach a very specific audience, one that’s eager to receive and share their message. And with a provincial election looming, the Ontario PC Party is taking note.
An inside team is traveling with the PC leader, documenting his campaign for “Ford Nation Live.” The news-style clips are shared online and through social channels and are proving to be a hit with the leader’s base.
Recently, I had a chance to speak with the CBC’s Mike Wise on how Doug Ford’s campaign is taking full advantage and why I think it’s a shrewd move for the new leader:
- He’s in control: For someone like Doug Ford who as an adversarial relationship with mainstream media, he controls the message.
- He’s leveraging the right tools: Social media provides tools to reach a highly targeted audience—if you aren’t using this to your advantage, you risk falling behind.
- He’s activating his base: Ford’s reaching his base with this tactic, but you can be sure they are sharing the content with friends, amplify the messages among mostly like-minded people.
While going direct to Ontarians with his message has obvious benefits for Ford and his campaign, there’s a tradeoff for those on the receiving end. Without traditional media providing a more balanced perspective the onus is on individuals to determine truth and authenticity. Whether the Ford Nation faithful or those seeing the paid push to their Facebook feeds, take the time to validate what they see is a question worth exploring. People with professional media training and experience know enough to put a filter on this tactic, but what about the average consumer?
Read more about the Ford Nation Live strategy in Mike’s article 'Taking matters into his own hands: Doug Ford's media strategy includes his own reporter', on CBC.ca